The exact timing of the test is dependent on whether a Raptor engine test goes as planned in the coming days. Dubbed Starship serial number 5 (SN5), SpaceX scientists are racing to complete the installation of Raptor SN27 and preparing the massive steel rocket for its first cryogenic wet dress rehearsal and static fire tests.

Delayed from Wednesday, July 8 and Friday, July 10, Starship SN5’s first Raptor static fire is now scheduled no earlier than 10am CDT (4pm BST) on Monday, July 13.

Should these nominally back-to-back tests succeed, road closure filings reveal SpaceX intend to attempt the first full-scale Starship hop just three days later.

However, a recent two-day delay adds an element of uncertainty.

Chances are one or even both of those test periods will slip or change in the next few days.

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Starship SN5’s static fire test period was in fact delayed only two days ago.

This indicates SpaceX could still be forced to push back the July 10 and 13 wet dress rehearsal (WDR) from smoothly transitioning into a Raptor static fire attempt.

And there are numerous candidates capable of providing additional delays to beset the actual flight test throughout the flow.

As with the SpaceX Starhopper, currently, the only vehicle to have flown under the power of a Raptor engine, Starship’s flight computer could abort the launch at almost any point prior to liftoff, up to and including Raptor ignition.

Possibly the main area of uncertainty with Starship’s first full-scale test flight is its landing legs.

These are very different from Falcon 9’s proven four-leg design.

Starship’s stubby legs stow inside the ship’s engine section, swinging down and out and potentially telescoping during touchdown.

Many people have taken to social media to express mixed emotions about the Starship test flight.

Users on Twitter have shared they belief the latest round of tests have arrived too soon, as predecessors of the SN5 have been destroyed in ground tests.

What is SpaceX Starship?

The massive rocket is SpaceX’s planned next-generation fully reusable launch vehicle, the centre of Elon Musk’s ambitions to make human space travel affordable.

Musk envisions the Starship will operate much like a commercial airliner by transporting paying customers to the surface of the Moon and even Mars.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk previously said the lifetime of each Starship will be around 20 to 30 years, ‘like an aircraft’.

Approximately three Starship flights will launch from Earth per day, meaning roughly 1,000 flights annually and each will have a capacity of more than 90,000 pounds.

By continuously ferrying people the 180 million miles to Mars, Elon Musk is predicting 1,000 human inhabitants by 2030 and ‘maybe around’ one million by 2050.



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